This week on SLJ, I spent time using the Teen Librarian Toolbox, and more specifically Middle Grade. I read an article from a weekly set called “Middle Grade Monday” which was titled “I Thought of You When I Read This” by Karen Jensen.
Summary: In the article, she talked about her list of things she keeps in the student supplies corner of her library, which includes hand lotion for students to use. When students visit her, even if it’s only for lotion, she’s able to talk to them and recommend books to them. This lets her students know she’s thinking about them.
Resource: I use both versions of School Library Journal almost daily. Although I’ve heard about the Teen Librarian Toolbox, I always neglect it as a resource. This article, and a bunch of other titles I skimmed, seemed like they would be great to check regularly, for collection development and personal/professional development. Everything I saw on the site seemed like it could be useful.
Content: As with all levels of libraries in schools, middle grade libraries have to meet the challenge of providing materials for students that are engaging and relevant to their lives. At times, however, this might not match up with what parents expect to be engaging and relevant to their children. Some of the articles I glanced through seemed like they would be helpful in maintaining this balance. Book reviews from both teens and adults are posted, which is helpful because a book I think kids will like, might not necessarily be a book that the kids will like. Furthermore, there are excellent articles throughout the site that are full of great ideas to implement in the library, from different activities with class to makerspaces to collaboration and advocacy ideas, this site seems like it will be useful as I continue my school library journey.